Former State Senator Seeking 1st District Seat

By James Lynch, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

MARION, Iowa - Former Marion legislator Swati Dandekar has joined the open-seat race for the U.S. House in Iowa’s 1st District.

Dandekar, who recently resigned from the Iowa Utilities Board to explore running in the 20-county northeast Iowa congressional district, made her entry into the race to succeed Waterloo Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being given up by Sen. Tom Harkin formal today.

After making a thorough assessment of the race “I now feel confident that I can win the Democratic nomination next June and the election in November of 2014,” Dandekar said this morning.

Dandekar, 62, stepped away from elected office in 2011 to accept Gov. Terry Branstad’s appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board. She was elected to the Iowa House in 2002 as a moderate, pro-business Democrat who pursued economic development policies to expand job creation opportunities and bring advanced technology and skilled jobs to the state.

After three terms, Dandekar was elected to the Senate in 2008.

Prior to her legislative service, she was on the Linn-Mar school board.

She is the fifth Democrat -- the third from Linn County -- to enter the primary race. Cedar Rapids attorney Dave O’Brien and Monica Vernon, a businesswoman and member of the Cedar Rapids City Council are joined by Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic of Waterloo and Rep. Pat Murphy of Dubuque.

It’s important to Democrats to maintain the 1st District seat, Dandekar said in her announcement.

“I have a strong a record of putting good public policy above politics and I will work tirelessly for the citizens of the District, just as I have in each public position I have held in the past,” she said. “I am running for Congress because I truly understand the promise that the United States offers and I want to make sure that every Iowan is given the same opportunity that I had. I am a living testament that the American dream is alive.”

Dandekar and her husband, Arvind, both naturalized Americans born in India, have lived in Iowa since 1973. They have two sons.

The Republican field, so far, consists of businessmen Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids and Rod Blum of Dubuque. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha is expected to enter the race later this summer.

The 20-county district stretches from Marshalltown north to Minnesota and east to the Mississippi River. It includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Dubuque.

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Dandekar joins Democratic field in Iowa 1st District

By James Q. Lynch

The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS – CEDAR RAPIDS -- Former Marion legislator Swati Dandekar has joined the open-seat race for the U.S. House in Iowa’s 1st District.

Dandekar, who recently resigned from the Iowa Utilities Board to explore running in the 20-county northeast Iowa congressional district, made her entry into the race to succeed Waterloo Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being given up by Sen. Tom Harkin formal today.

After making a thorough assessment of the race “I now feel confident that I can win the Democratic nomination next June and the election in November of 2014,” Dandekar said this morning.

Dandekar, 62, stepped away from elected office in 2011 to accept Gov. Terry Branstad’s appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board. She was elected to the Iowa House in 2002 as a moderate, pro-business Democrat who pursued economic development policies to expand job creation opportunities and bring advanced technology and skilled jobs to the state.

After three terms, Dandekar was elected to the Senate in 2008.

Prior to her legislative service, she was on the Linn-Mar school board.

She is the fifth Democrat -- the third from Linn County -- to enter the primary race. Cedar Rapids attorney Dave O’Brien and Monica Vernon, a businesswoman and member of the Cedar Rapids City Council are joined by Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic of Waterloo and Rep. Pat Murphy of Dubuque.

It’s important to Democrats to maintain the 1st District seat, Dandekar said in her announcement.

“I have a strong a record of putting good public policy above politics and I will work tirelessly for the citizens of the District, just as I have in each public position I have held in the past,” she said. “I am running for Congress because I truly understand the promise that the United States offers and I want to make sure that every Iowan is given the same opportunity that I had. I am a living testament that the American dream is alive.”

Dandekar and her husband, Arvind, both naturalized Americans born in India, have lived in Iowa since 1973. They have two sons.

The Republican field, so far, consists of businessmen Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids and Rod Blum of Dubuque. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha is expected to enter the race later this summer.

The 20-county district stretches from Marshalltown north to Minnesota and east to the Mississippi River. It includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Dubuque.

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